Dead I Well May Be (Michael Forsythe #1)
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Dead I Well May Be (Dead Trilogy #1)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,291 ratings  ·  156 reviews
This Irish bad-boy thriller, set in the hardest streets of New York City, brims with graphic violence, greed, and sexual betrayal. Michael Forsythe, escaping the Troubles in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is strong and fearless and clever, just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a New York crime boss, to join his gang of thugs fighting for their turf. Michael soon becomes Dark...more
Published July 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2003)
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Feb 28, 2008 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
Holy crap. I picked this up because it's Irish, mostly. Only a few discs into the story it's a pretty fun listen. It's written in first person, so listening to it is no different than your favorite Irish friend telling you a story. With A LOT of f-bombs in it. To give you an guy (Scotchy) was giving the main character (Mike) a hard time over the phone. The main character goes silent for quite a while as Sotchy bellows into the phone. Scotchy finally wises up to the silent treatment a...more
Karen O2
Its actually pretty ridiculous. I had to get this book from the United Kingdom on And of course had to pay shipping. Why not get it from Audible? Well, I prefer to read my books not listen to disembodied voices in my head.

All right, moan over, back to the book:

Quite simply one of the best novels I have ever read. I didn't say one of the best crime novels. I said one of the best novels. The basic plot description is this: the story of a young Irish immigrant in the violent New Yor...more
I wasn't expecting much from this book, since the plot summary doesn't do it much justice. Neither the thriller/crime category applied to it. It's much more than that. Can I call it an existential thriller? A study in desperate crime maybe?
Here's a fine young man caught in desperate situations he can't escape, all the way since his childhood. Here the universe will not even raise its eyebrow to help him, nothing like the helpful conspiring universe of Coehlo's wishful fuckery. He's fighting wit...more
Veydh Gooljar
A vengeful-based story, starting off with the Irish protagonist, Michael Forsythe being jobless and borderlining poverty was offered a job to work in New York. This story was based in the 80s/90s in Harlem when it was abundant with crime (thus being a crime-based story). Narration was in first person.

As this book was in first person and the story was that of crime and vengeance, to me, the book's foremost quality was being thrilling. Following a character who had some street sense and was mixed...more
Rob Kitchin
Dead I May Well Be is a confident, bold and assured debut novel of great depth and storytelling. Forsythe is a complex and well-drawn character and the rest of the cast are more than mere extras. The writing is sharp and dark, the plot is rich and thick with political and philosophical insight, as well as violence and pathos, and the story zips along at a cracking pace. McKinty does a good job of capturing the sights and sounds of pre-Giuliani New York City, and the personal relations within and...more
DEAD I WELL MAY BE (Suspense-NY/Mexico-Cont) – G+
Adrian McKinty – 2nd book
Pocket Books, 2004 – Paperback
Michael Forsythe, a 19-year old illegal immigrant from Belfast, is an enforcer for a New York Crime boss. After being betrayed by his employer, which lands him in a Mexican prison, he returns to New York determined for revenge.
*** This is a tough book for me to evaluate. It saddened me as the character of Michael is young and highly intelligent, yet seemingly unwilling to leave the violent li...more
A classic noir with mob connotations, ‘Dead I Well May Be’ introduces a hero with more heart than body parts (read the book, you’ll know what I mean). From Ireland to New York to the jungles of Mexico the blood runs think and fast as the protagonist seeks vengeance for his wrong doing. I liken this to the Sopranos (somewhat) in the earlier stages of the book with a hint of Hank Thompson (Charlie Huston’s creation) towards the end. A solid read for fans of mob related fiction, noir, and plain goo...more
Dark gritty crime novel that takes the reader from Belfast to New York City and then to Mexico. A very good read though a bit too long. Loved the narration on the audio by Gerard Doyle. His Irish accent really made the listen enjoyable.
Dark and funny, tough and confrontational, lyrical and even poetic in places, quintessentially Irish, DEAD I WELL MAY BE is the first in a series of books featuring Michael Forsythe, a young Irish man with a flair for danger, drinking, and fighting his way out of impossible situations.

McKinty writes in a style that's easy to associate with noir Irish writing, a sort of a stream of consciousness thing, that alternates between incredibly compelling and making the reader want to hide under the bed...more
A solid first novel and I look forward to reading more by Adrian McKinty.

I have a few small gripes with the book: some unnecessary foreshadowing that steps on the story being told in the present, a knack of letting a digression take over a scene, and the book is probably about 50 pages longer than its very simple story needs.

The first half is really great. That's not to say the latter half isn't good, the story just changes drastically. Where the first half is grounded and the story remains rela...more
This is an out and out crime novel. By a "crime novel", I mean a novel about a criminal way of life. The story is about a criminal, in the perspective of a criminal, about the criminal way of life and the various ups and downs of the same. There is no honor, no glory, no code. It's just a clinical way of life. This is a world about which normal people have no idea about. The transactions, the relationships, the ethics are all a part of that criminal perspective.

Written in a unique narration, the...more
Reminded me a lot of The Ghosts of Belfast.

A guy from Northern Ireland comes to Harlem in the early nineties and gets involved with Irish gangsters.

What a great premise! This book really has nothing to do with the premise, though. It's a straight revenge tale. Very violent, and not really my thing.

McKinty's writing is fantastic, though. It's like a fugue that drifts between the present, past, and future. Really excellent, unusual descriptive passages. I'm not normally a sucker for that sort of t...more
Claudia Putnam
Oh hell, okay I'll give it 4 stars just because it's so hard to find an escape read that isn't crap. This book lacks the Irish Troubles backdrop that was so interesting in The Cold, Cold Ground. Except at the start when we need a reason for Michael to become an illegal immigrant in America. In Belfast, he's working day labor and one job is to restore all the broken windows up and down the street after yet another bomb goes off in the Europa Hotel ("the most bombed hotel in Europe"). The Europa h...more
(Audio book, narrated by Gerard Doyle.)

I've been bingeing on Adrian McKinty. This is the third book I've read by him in a month, and I've already got two more books on hold at the library.

I started with the first of his Sargeant Duffy trilogy (Cold, Cold Ground), then went to a standalone, Fifty Grand, and then read this one, the first novel he produced. He certainly got off to a blazing start: Dead I Well May Be was shortlisted for the 2004 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and was picked by Book...more
Felix Zilich
Молодой гопник из Белфаста Майкл Форсайт пытался завязать с прошлым, отправившись служить в британскую армию, но вскоре избил штатского и был уволен на гражданку за плохое поведение. Потом ему отказали в пособии по безработице (соседи, сволочи, настучали), после чего парню не оставалось другого пути, кроме как ехать в Нью-Йорк на поиски заработка.

Но вместо обещанной работы на стройке, полной скучных пролетарских будней и дешевого “гиннеса”, Майкл оказался в бригаде бойцов Тёмного Уайта, ирландс...more
Delightful, horrifying, philosophical, poetic, violent, and funny. This is the first Adrian McKinty book I've read, but it won't be the last. The only problem is the books are hard to find.

In this first of the trilogy, Michael Forsythe is a nineteen-year-old illegal from Northern Ireland working for the Irish mob in New York. A stint in a Mexican prison is the turning point of his life. Michael remains likable and honorable even when he is seeking vengeance (or maybe it's justice).
Aj Laurien
All I can say is wow!

The people in charge of marketing this book should all be fired.

IMHO this is the best crime novel of the last decade, up there with Jim Thompson, Elmore Leonard and Bob Parker at their finest. Someone really screwed up here. This should have been a NYT best seller. But thats ok as I'll take it as a cult classic.

Buyer beware though this is very Irish!! i.e. swearing, sex, violence and black humor.
A lot of violence, some of it pretty unrealistic I think. Some of the writing is exciting, intelligent and thoughtful. I didn't like the beginning or the ending of the book, but most of the middle had a grip on my attention. In the end I didn't feel that I gained any particular insight by reading it and I was not entertained by the violence. This book was the first wild release bookcrossing book that I found.
Fiona Godfrey
Anyone looking for a good read? May I recommend Adrian McKinty’s “Dead I Well May Be”. A friend lent me 4 books of his, and this the first novel he wrote, I believe. He’s a raunchy bard, this Irishman, and his novel packs punch from start to finish, a violent saga told with a velvet tongue. His language is intoxicating, addictive, a pared down voice of wit and soulfulness. I think I’d read one crime story prior to this, as I have no interest in murders and Who-dunnits, but this is written so bea...more
Joe Stamber
I decided to give this series a try after reading McKinty's excellent Sean Duffy trilogy. Michael Forsythe is from the other side of the tracks to Sean Duffy, but is an equally intriguing character. A teenage Michael finds that things aren't working out for him in Northern Ireland and emigrates to New York under the radar of the authorities. Here he works for some local gangsters and seems to slot easily into his new life. However, from the start it is obvious that Michael is the type of guy who...more
Kristine Rier
Having 'found' Adrian McKinty only recently (starting with the Troubles Trilogy, and having developed a slight crush on Sean Duffy), I am now going back McKinty's earlier works, eager for more of his writing brilliance. I didn't want to like Michael Forsythe, but McKinty and his way with words made me care. Forsythe isn't necessarily the anti-Duffy, but he doesn't wear the white hat, either. There are not many redeeming characters in the entire book, but still I couldn't put the book down and am...more
Clive Warner
Kept me interested. A good thriller with convincing characters that stood off the page. The part that takes place in Mexico was convincing and I know the country pretty well.
For all my innocent can't-we-all-just-be-nice-to-each-other-and-crochet-cute-animals-and-sing-happy-songs-together look, I do also enjoy a hard-boiled tough thriller with fast pace and snappy dialogue. And this one is especially well written.
Michael is 19, is unemployed in Belfast, in the early 1990s. He does a bit of extra work 1 day to repair windows for buildings after a bombing, but ends up on the front page of the paper and loses his unemployment benefit forever. A relative works for Darke...more
[re-post from my old blog]

From the 20 Most Addictive Series list, I read the first book in the Michael Forsythe series, written by Adrian McKinty. Called Dead I Well May Be, it was a really great start to the "Dead" trilogy.

The Dead trilogy tells the story of Michael Forsythe, an unwilling Irish immigrant, forced to come to the United States to work for a shady relative in New York City after being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Forsyth is a study in contrasts - well re...more
I really liked this story and grew quite attached to Michael Forsythe! If you do not like the F-word used creatively and frequently, then this isn't a good book for you. I however found the first person narrative here very compelling. Michael is a 19 year old Irish immigrant who leaves the poverty of Ireland for a job in crime-ridden Harlem in the 90's. He is basically a thug, and as it turns out, rather good at it. There are several "colorful" exchanges between Michael and one of his mob buddie...more
Originally posted at

A gritty and violent first person narrative interspersed with an unexpected elegance that tours you through the beautiful landscape of Ireland only to turn you around and drag you rough and bloody through the streets of Harlem.

Michael Forsythe is a likable yet flawed antihero who makes the huge mistake of falling in love with his boss’ girl. Darkey White is not the kind of man who takes such slights lightly.

"Don’t think of Darkey as Brando in the...more
Dave Riley
This was a challenging read for me as I'm not into sociopaths as heroes. With a plot that meanders every which way and a style addicted to detail as if reading the diary of an obsessive, I was glad when I could put this novel aside finished and could pick up something much better, Cop Killer by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö.

It's not that I'm into any rules about story telling or subject matter but with McKinty I gotta ask, "what's the point?". Who wants to spend any time with his chosen protagoni...more
I really enjoyed this book, so much happened to Michael that I wasn't expecting. He's a very go-with-the-flow character that could slit your throat with no hesitation if you cross him! You like him but at the same time your scared of what he's capable of. You get to know him and see how he progresses to this stage of vengeance and he's just so young :( His character sometimes reminded me of Colin Farrell in 'In Bruges' that same humor.
I love how his accent is so clear and strong, you gotta lov...more
Kathleen Hagen
Dead I Well May Be, by Adrian McKinty, A. Narrated by Gerard Doyle, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

This is the story of Michael Forsythe, who by the age of 19 has been involved in crime in Belfast, been in the British army briefly, and finally is busted for working one day when he was receiving unemployment compensation and his picture appears on the front page. He loses the dole, and there’s no work, so even though he doesn’t want to go to America, he goes and goes to...more

Metaphors are heady things, and yet they often themselves up not to the most intelligent, but to those with the time to ponder them. Take a stream, for example. If you’ve stood for hours on its banks (perhaps clutching a fishing pole, as I used to do when living in Colorado), you gain something more than an intellectual understanding of its nature. You begin to grasp why people have used it to convey a sense of life’s transience. You also comprehend why it’s been linked...more
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Adrian McKinty is an Irish novelist. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1968 and grew up in Victoria Council Estate, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. He read law at the University of Warwick and politics and philosophy at the University of Oxford. He moved to the United States in the early 1990s, living first in Harlem, New York and from 2001 onwards Denver, Colorado where he taught high sch...more
More about Adrian McKinty...
The Cold Cold Ground The Dead Yard (Michael Forsythe #2) The Bloomsday Dead (Michael Forsythe #3) The Lighthouse Land (Lighthouse Trilogy, #1) I Hear the Sirens in the Street

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